Akron dad pleads guilty in girl's paralyzing injury

Relates to:
Date: 2003-03-15

Author: Karen Farkas; Plain Dealer Reporter

A man who injured his daughter so severely that she is paralyzed from the waist down pleaded guilty yesterday to felonious assault and child endangering.

Gerald Hyre, 33, of Akron, will be sentenced April 14 by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Jane Bond.

Hyre was baby-sitting Kelsey, 2, and his 2½-year-old adoptive son, Nathan, on Sept. 25 while his wife, Bonnie, was at work. He called his wife, saying he had accidentally dropped Kelsey onto her crib or onto the floor. Bonnie Hyre, 34, took the girl to Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron.

Doctors said she had two broken bones in her mid-lower back and her spinal column was completely dislocated. They said the injuries were caused by a more violent act than dropping the child.

Hyre has no criminal record. He and his wife adopted Kelsey and Nathan from Russia through a private Medina County adoption agency. During the investigation of Kelsey's injuries, it was learned that Nathan had suffered a broken foot several months earlier while under his father's care.

Kelsey is in a foster home, and Nathan is with relatives, said Louise Miller, a spokeswoman with Children Services. The agency has temporary custody, and Bonnie Hyre visits her children, Miller said.

"We are working with both family and caretakers and want what is best for these children," she said. "The mom is working with us."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

kfarkas@plaind.com, 1-800-628-6689

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